CRIM 101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Child Abduction

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Published on 21 Apr 2013
School
Simon Fraser University
Department
Criminology
Course
CRIM 101
Page:
of 2
Crim 101, tutorial week 2
*Who is Joel Best?
Well known “critical constructionist” and expert on “social problems”
Has written extensively about society’s focus on “threatened children”, “child victims”
and “troubled children”
Joel Best’s greatest hits
Threatened hits
Damned lies and stats
Images of issues
*Missing children
1979-1981- stranger abductions started to receive national publicity
Term “missing children” first appears in 1981
US senate holds first hearing on missing children in 1981
1982- federal government passes missing children’s act
Formation of US attorney general’s advisory board on missing children (report published
in 1986)
By mid 1980s, photos of “missing children” started appearing on milk cartons, shopping
bags, billboards, TV
The claims makers
Child find
Child stealing research center
Dee Scofield awareness program
National center for missing and exploited children
Kevin Collins foundation for missing children
*And their claims
1981: there are 50,000 stranger abductions of children every year!
1983: 20,000-50,000 children are snatched every year!
1986: 4,000-20,000 child abductions involving strangers!
*Setting the facts straight
Widely misstated “fact” that there were 1.8 million missing children in the US (nobody
knows where that number came from)
Majority of missing children were runaways. Typically, 97% missing less than 24 hours,
99% of reports cancelled within a year
100, 000 missing children were abducted by non-custodial parents
FBI said in 1984 they were only investigation 67 cases of stranger abductions of children
National child safety council said in 1986 that there are only 132 children listed in the
abducted child directory
The worst statistic ever
If the claim that the number if american children gunned down had doubled every year
since 1950, there would have been 1 million by 1970, one billion in 1980, 35 trillion by
1994
Always ask:
1. Who created the statistic?
2. Why was it created?
3. How was it created?

Document Summary

Well known critical constructionist and expert on social problems . Has written extensively about society"s focus on threatened children , child victims and troubled children . 1979-1981- stranger abductions started to receive national publicity. Term missing children first appears in 1981. Us senate holds first hearing on missing children in 1981. 1982- federal government passes missing children"s act. Formation of us attorney general"s advisory board on missing children (report published in 1986) By mid 1980s, photos of missing children started appearing on milk cartons, shopping bags, billboards, tv. National center for missing and exploited children. 1981: there are 50,000 stranger abductions of children every year! 1983: 20,000-50,000 children are snatched every year! Widely misstated fact that there were 1. 8 million missing children in the us (nobody knows where that number came from) 100, 000 missing children were abducted by non-custodial parents. Fbi said in 1984 they were only investigation 67 cases of stranger abductions of children.